BUSINESS IN BRIEF 11/3

Petrol, oil prices kept unchanged in latest regular adjustment


Petrol, oil prices kept unchanged in latest regular adjustment, Vietnamese fruits popular in Japan, New rules set for operation of foreign trade promotion agencies, CPTPP to open up opportunities for Canada-Vietnam cooperation



The prices of oil and petrol are kept unchanged after the latest regular review by the ministries of Industry and Trade and Finance on March 8. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Finance review fuel prices every 15 days to adjust the prices in accordance with fluctuations on the world market.

The ceiling price for E5 bio-petrol will be maintained at 18,340 VND per litre, and that for diesel oil 0.05S at 15,716 VND per litre, for kerosene at 14,560 VND per litre. 

The two ministries said the prices for RON 92 petrol, which is the base for producing E5 petrol, saw little change in the 15-day period prior to March 8. 

Meanwhile, the cost of ethanol E100 which is used to produce E5 petrol has gone up by almost 1,200 VND per litre compared to one year ago. 

In the previous adjustment on February 21, the price of RON 95 petrol declined by 400 VND per litre, the first reduction in petrol prices in 2018. It was also the first time the ceiling price of RON 95 petrol had been announced as consumers no longer have access to RON 92 petrol since January 2018.

CPTPP to open up opportunities for Canada-Vietnam cooperation

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which is due to be signed in Chile on March 8, will open up opportunities for cooperation between Vietnam and Canada.

The signing will be an important starting point for establishing a potential free trade area with a population of nearly 500 million people and GDP of around 10,000 billion USD, or 13 percent of the global GDP.

According to Steward Beck, President and CEO of the Asia-Pacific Fund Canada, the pact is really important for Canada because it gets access to the Japanese market, Canada’s fourth largest market, as well as well as others like Vietnam, Singapore and ASEAN, which are important markets but the northern American country does not have trade arrangement.

“It is gonna give Vietnam advantages”, he told Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent on the eve of the official signing ceremony. For Canada, “it gives us advantages in place like Vietnam,” he added.

He highlighted Vietnam’s potential with a young labour and half of the population being under 25 and well educated.

“Once you start marketing CPTPP with the Canadian business community, they will start focusing on opportunities Vietnam offers to them.”

Beck pointed out fields the two sides have opportunities for cooperation such as technology, which, he said, will become much more important in doing business today whether e-commerce, finance technology, and services, along with Vietnam’s export of more seafood and other products to Canada.

“In the next two-three years, once the agreement is enforced, we will see more engagements with Vietnam in areas important for Vietnam and Canada.”

He believed more people would go to Vietnam and more people will see what opportunities are it will create that type of business.

Besides, there is a large of Vietnamese community in Canada, they will help because they would know what the business opportunity is in Vietnam. They will be able to make those connections, Beck affirmed.

After the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the predecessor of the CPTPP, in 2017, the remaining 11 countries -Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam- agreed to maintain the deal and rename it CPTPP. 

It sets high criteria in numerous fields, including labour, the environment, intellectual property, digital economy and cyber security. Twenty-two provisions of the CPTPP, including sensitive ones related to intellectual property, were suspended or changed in comparison to the TPP. 

The pact will come into force 60 days after it is fully ratified by six of the 11 members.

Vietnamese fruits popular in Japan

Vietnamese fruits are becoming more and more popular in the Japanese market, reflected through 170 million USD in export turnover of fruits and vegetables in 2017, an increase of 70 percent against the previous year.

This was revealed by Ta Duc Minh, Vietnamese trade counsellor to Japan, during Japan’s largest international food and beverage exhibition, Foodex Japan 2018, which opened on March 6 in Chiba city.

Up to 20 Vietnamese enterprises from various cities and provinces, such as HCM City, Hanoi, Nghe An, Bac Giang, Ninh Binh, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Lam Dong and Ca Mau, which are active in the field of agro-fisheries and food export, took part in the event.

The event offers Vietnamese businesses opportunities to promote their exports in the Japanese and other Asian markets. Besides this, it is an opportunity for Vietnam’s firms to develop new export items, sign valuable export contracts, and promote a wide range of Vietnamese food and agricultural products.

At the expo, Vietnamese firms displayed products such as fruits and vegetables, seafood, cod-liver oil, organic pepper, seedless lemons, rice products, Phu Quoc sauce, various biscuits and juices.

Earlier, Vietnamese products were exported to Japan in the form of semi-finished products; however, recently, Vietnamese enterprises have focused on investment and technology cooperation with Japanese enterprises, helping Vietnamese products meet the quality standards of the Japanese market, Minh added.

The four-day exhibition attracts 3,350 firms from 80 countries and territories worldwide, and is expected to welcome some 85,000 visitors.

South region harvests 11 million tonnes of Winter-Spring rice

The rice output during the 2017-2018 Winter-Spring crop in the southern region is estimated to reach 11.1 million tonnes, up over 1 million tonnes on a yearly basis. 

Reports delivered at a conference in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang province on March 7 said the increase was attributable partly to an expansion of 58,256 ha in total rice area and partly to a rise of 454kg per ha in rice yield. Southern localities planted rice on a total area of 1.6 million ha during the crop. 

According to the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD), the region will accelerate restructuring of cultivation in the 2018 Summer-Autumn crop through apply comprehensively technical solutions, towards increasing quality, sustainable value. 

In the 2018 Summer-Autumn crop, the region will cultivate rice on a total area of 1.74 million ha, with an estimated yield of 9.77 million tonnes, up 277,000 tonnes on a yearly basis. 

In his speech at the conference, MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh noted that regional farmers had a bumper harvest in the 2017-2018 Winter-Spring crop. 

He asked localities in the region to devise measures to increase rice yield in the 2018 Summer-Autumn crop.

The southern region is the biggest rice production area in Vietnam. The country may export 6.5 million tonnes of rice in 2018, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan.

Last year, Vietnam earned 2.6 billion USD from exporting 5.8 million tonnes of rice.

Solutions sought to reduce food losses

The application of freezing and cooling technology in preserving food and farm produce contributes to reducing wastefulness and losses as well as cutting emission in food production, said David Appel, President of Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems.

In a conference on global refrigeration supply, Appel said that the cooling and freezing technology also helps increase trade among countries.

He called for private and public sectors as well as scientists to focus on seeking and implementing strategic and practical measures to reduce food wastefulness in Vietnam and the Southeast Asia.

Statistics showed that only 10 percent of foodstuff and farm produce in the world is preserved with cooling and freezing systems.

Meanwhile, Julien Brun, a French expert, said that as an agricultural country with a rapid economic growth, Vietnam has faced food and agricultural product losses as well as difficulties in logistics management for the refrigeration supply chain.

Vietnamese agricultural experts held that small production scale is the major reason behind food loss and wastefulness in Vietnam, along with high logistics cost at about 21-25 percent of the GDP each year.

They stressed the need for active engagement of all sides in researching and evaluating opportunities and solutions on the management of the supply system in order to overcome agricultural product loss.

Nguyen Duc Loc, Director of the Vietnam Centre for Agricultural and Rural Policy and Strategy, said that the restructuring of the agricultural sector has focused on expanding production scale, developing the co-operative economy and strengthening chain connectivity with the stronger engagement of the private sector.

The sector has also increased the application of processing technology for higher value, he added.

The conference on global refrigeration supply 2018 was held in Ho Chi Minh City on March 7.

Vietjet offers 1.5 million promotional tickets

Vietjet Air offers 1,500,000 tickets priced from VND 0 on its website www.vietjetair.com from March 6-8, 2018, to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8).

The promotional tickets are available for all domestic and international routes flying to Seoul, Busan (the Republic of Korea)/ Hong Kong/ Kaoshiung, Taipei, Taichung, Tainan (Taiwan)/ Singapore/ Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai (Thailand)/ Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)/ Yangon (Myanmar)/ Phnom Penh, Siem Reap (Cambodia) with the flight period from April 10th to December 31, 2018.

Especially, the first 1,000 female passengers buying airfares on website www.vietjetair.com on March 8 and paying via international cards (Visa, Master, JCB, Unionpay) will receive the promo code to purchase discount tickets through email provided when booking.

The promotional tickets are available during the golden hours from 12:00 to 14:00 (GMT 7) on www.vietjetair.com (also compatible with smartphones at https://m.vietjetair.com) or www.facebook.com/vietjetvietnam (just click the “Booking” tab); payment can be easily made with debit and credit cards of Visa/ MasterCard/ AMEX/ JCB/ KCP/ any ATM card issued by 32 Vietnamese banks that have been registered with internet banking.

Aiming to “Consumer Airline”, Vietjet is continually opening new routes, adding more aircraft, investing in modern technology and offering more added-on products and services to serve all demands of customers. 

It is a pioneering airline that is loved by many for its exciting promotional and entertainment programs, especially during the festive season. With high-quality services, diverse ticket classes and special low-fare tickets, Vietjet offers its passengers flying experiences on new aircraft with comfy seats, delicious hot meals, beautiful and friendly cabin crews, and other interesting added-on services.

Int’l furniture, home décor fair returns to HCM City

The Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair (VIFA-EXPO) returned to Ho Chi Minh City on its 11th edition, bringing together 350 domestic and foreign exhibitors.

The expo is underway at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) from March 7-10, featuring about 2,000 booths run by furniture and home décor companies throughout Vietnam, international furniture, home décor and handicraft manufacturers and traders from all over the world, and craft villages, cooperatives and handicraft enterprises.

The event was held by the city’s Department of Industry and Trade and the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA).

The trade fair attracted a large number of foreign exhibitors, many of which have big timber and accessories industries such as Singapore, Taiwan (China), the US, Australia, Russia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and the Republic of Korea, according to HAWA President Nguyen Quoc Khanh.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said forestry has become one of Vietnam’s important economic sectors as wood and timber products are the sixth biggest hard currency earner of the country.

Vietnam’s wood and timber products ranked fifth in the world, accounting for 6 percent of the global market share, and led Southeast Asia, he noted.

Tuan added that global demand for wooden furniture will increase by 3.5 percent this year so Vietnamese producers need to focus more on branding and ramp up trade promotion to expand their market

In the first two months of this year, Vietnam exported wood and timber products worth 1.48 billion USD to 38 markets, a year-on-year rise of 38.3 percent.

Strong hikes were recorded in Switzerland (508 percent), Finland (486.5 percent), Turkey (187.6 percent), Saudi Arabia (187.4 percent), Malaysia (138 percent), and the Czech Republic (104.8 percent).

Belgium’s ODA project helps Ninh Thuan respond to climate change

The Belgian Government’s official development assistance (ODA) will help the central province of Ninh Thuan to enhance capacity in the management and operation of its irrigational system as part of efforts to respond to climate change under a project launched on March 8.

At the event, Luu Xuan Vinh, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, stressed that improving management and operation capacity of the local irrigational system is significant to the locality’s urban area development in the context of climate change.

Local authority hoped to receive support from Belgium’s Technical Support Unit (TSU) and relevant consultancy organisations so that it can operate the system smoothly, he said.

Participants discussed measures to evaluate water resources and demand in the locality, seek way to optimise reservoirs as well as improve management of the irrigational system.

Under the project, relevant sides will work to assess planning of the water resource in the basin of the Dinh river, install 15 automatic water monitoring stations at prioritised reservoirs, arrange and handle climate change information and develop hydrographic models.

The project is part of the Belgium-funded “Capacity Strengthening for River Basin Management through Participatory Irrigation Management Development in the context of Climate Change in Ninh Thuan Province” programme valued at 10.6 million EUR. The Belgian Government granted 9 million EUR to support the project and the remaining came from the Vietnamese Government’s corresponding fund.

Ninh Thuan province is mobilising all resources to carry out the project, the last non-refundable ODA project funded by the Belgian Government in the province, to respond to climate change and develop local socio-economy.

Da Nang seeks to businesses’ ideas for growth

Leaders and entrepreneurs in the central city of Da Nang worked together to tackle difficulties and outline new solutions to spur the city’s growth in 2018 and the following years at Spring 2018 Dialogue on March 8.

The leaders agreed that businesses play the decisive role in the city’s future sustainable development and sought their ideas and measures to address current problems facing the city.

Representatives of businesses pointed out insufficient infrastructure at industrial parks, saying it has yet met the demand of investors, especially small and medium-sized ones.

They also mentioned the lack of labour force in industrial production, inadequate investment in public transport, and the need to speed up the administrative procedures in the field of land, taxation and customs.

They proposed developing specialized industrial clusters, attracting investment into hi-tech industrial park, boosting environmentally friendly tourism, and contributed ideas relating to healthcare, education, high technology, trade, hi-tech agriculture, and start-up.

Truong Quang Duoc, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, spoke highly of the business community’s contributions to developing the city’s economy, generating jobs, accelerating economic structure shifting, and expanding markets.

He suggested the people’s committee, sectors and branches focus on improving the training of human resources, especially for the fields of tourism, high technology, education and healthcare as well as infrastructure for tourism and industry.

The authorities need to handle completely the discharge of waste into the sea, publicize the planning of land plots where the city is calling for investment, and strictly undertake the administrative reform in the areas of bidding, land use auction and investment and business procedures, he said.

He expects that businesses and businesses’ associations will continue joining hands with the municipal authorities and people and contributing more ideas to make the city wealthier.

Located between the ancient town of Hoi An and the old capital of Hue, Da Nang City spans an area of 1,285 sq.km, with an estimated population of 1 million people in 2014, and expects to reach 1.5 million people by 2020 and 2.5 million by 2030.

It is one of the top 10 best places in the world for foreigners to live in 2018, according to the international tourism magazine Live and Invest Overseas (LIO).

Da Nang city is the only Vietnamese destination in the list.

New rules set for operation of foreign trade promotion agencies

The Vietnamese Government has issued the Decree 28/2018/ND-CP, which stipulates principles for activities of foreign trade promotion agencies in Vietnam.

The decree said that the agencies, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, associations and equivalent need to set up a representative office in Vietnam in order to engage in trade promotion activities in the country. They are not allowed to establish more than one representative office in a province or centrally-run city.

These agencies do not include foreign entrepreneurs, non-government organisations, agencies for cooperation and research, cultural-educational institutes and other kinds of foreign organisations. 

Representative offices of foreign trade promotion agencies are not allowed to carry out activities to make direct profit in Vietnam. The head and personnel of those representative offices have to be registered with authorised agencies.

The recruitment of foreigners working in such representative offices in Vietnam must be in line with Vietnam’s regulations as well as international treaties that Vietnam is a member.

Foreign trade promotion agencies have to bear responsibility for all activities of their representative office’s activities in Vietnam, according to the decree.

State budget collection rises 12.7 percent in first two months

Total revenue of the State budget reached 215.76 trillion VND (9.47 billion USD) in the first two months of 2018, equivalent to 16.1 percent of the yearly estimate and up 12.7 percent year-on-year, said the Ministry of Finance.

Domestic revenue, estimated at 179.4 trillion VND, rose by 12.9 percent from the same period last year. The figure was equal to 16.3 percent of the estimate.

Meanwhile, revenue from crude oil surged 28.2 percent year on year to 9.1 trillion VND, accounting for 25.4 percent of the estimate. Import-export activities brought in 41.7 trillion VND, close to last year’s figure.

In the same period, State budget spending was at 177.7 trillion VND, equal to 11.7 percent of the yearly estimate and up 2 percent annually.

Government bonds worth 29.38 trillion VND were issued as of the end of February, ensuring supply for spending and debt payment.

The Finance Ministry is set to work with relevant agencies to step up budget collection management, the fight against trafficking, trade fraud and transfer pricing, along with accelerating the collection of overdue tax in the coming time.

It will also continue the project on public investment restructuring in 2017-2020, with a view to 2025 and approve the 2018 capital planning on the treasury and budget management information system (TABMIS).

Japanese firm launches five-star resort in Quang Nam

Route Inn Group from Japan has launched its first five-star beach resort project – the Grandvrio Ocean Resort Da Nang – in Dien Ban town of the central province of Quang Nam, adding 96 hotel rooms and 54 villas to the provincial hospitality industry.

The group said this is the second project in Vietnam since it debuted a four-star hotel project – the Grandvrio Da Nang City – in the central city of Da Nang and the start of a plan to develop a chain of 50 hotels in the country until 2025.

Grandvrio Ocean Resort Da Nang, located on the coast between Da Nang and Hoi An, offers private pool villas and rooms with ocean views and contemporary interior design, luxurious fittings and high-end amenities, creating more options for tourists visiting Da Nang and Hoi An.

It also offers the biggest Japanese style restaurant, Bikura, an Onsen (a Japanese hot spring and bathing facility), Zen Spa and kids’ zone.

The Japanese group also began an enrollment programme for students from Da Nang-based Dong A College to serve a chain of 320 hotels in Japan and Vietnam following a training agreement signed in 2015.

Japan plans to open a Consulate office in Da Nang as a way of boosting tourism and exchange between Japan and Da Nang as well as other central provinces in the future.

Route Inn was considered the first Japanese company to invest in the hospitality sector in central Vietnam when it poured 18 million USD into Da Nang last year.

VN earns 33.62 billion USD from exports in two months

Vietnam’s total export value was estimated at 33.62 billion USD by the end of February, a year-on-year increase of 22.9 percent, revealed the General Department of Customs.

Of this, 19.57 billion USD came from the six groups of commodities earning at least 1 billion USD in export value, accounting for 58.2 percent of the total export value. 

The result was one more group than that in the first two months of 2017. The new “billion dollar” goods item was seafood, which was the largest export product of the agricultural sector.

In the first two months of this year, the export value of seafood reached 1.1 billion USD, up 20.4 percent over the same period last year. However, its export value in February fell 37.3 percent month-on-month to 430 million USD.

Five others included telephone and its parts; computer, electronic products and their parts; other machines, equipment, tools and components; footwear; and textile and garment.

The department said all export commodities gaining billion-dollar export value achieved double-digit growth rate in export value.

During the first two months of this year, the export value of telephone and its parts reached 6.63 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 41.7 percent, the largest export value among all.

Textiles and apparels gained a surge of 22.3 percent year-on-year in export value to 4.3 billion USD. This was considered the highest growth rate in export value of the textile and garment industry in recent years.

Computers, electronic products and their parts had an estimated export value of 4 billion USD, up 19.2 percent over the same period last year. 

The export value was 2.27 billion USD for footwear products, up 11.9 percent, and 1.27 billion USD for wood and wooden products, up 20.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Use of organic fertilisers – inevitable trend: minister

Boosting clean agriculture in a sustainable and effective manner with the use of organic fertilisers is an inevitable trend, affirmed Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong at the ministry’s conference seeking ways to develop organic fertilisers on March 9.

Cuong said that the use of chemical fertilisers for a long time has caused environmental pollution, soil degradation, and negative impacts on the quality of agricultural products.

He pointed to the abuse of inorganic fertilisers in agricultural production by farmers, calling for a change, given stricter market requirements on product quality and better cultivation methods to minimise climate change consequences.

Vietnam currently needs about 11 million tonnes of fertilisers of all types a year. As of December 2017, the number of registered organic fertiliser products was 713, accounting for 5 percent of the total, while the number of inorganic products made up 93.7 percent and biological products 1.3 percent.

The nation has 180 establishments producing organic fertilisers with combined capacity of 2.5 million tonnes a year, equal to 8.5 percent of the total.

The imbalance was attributed to the lack of measures encouraging the production and use of organic fertilisers.

In September 2017, regulations on encouraging the production and use of organic fertilisers were put into a decree for the first time when Decree No.108/2017/ND-CP was issued in replace of Decree No.202/2013/ND-CP.

The new decree stipulates that the production and use of organic fertilisers is important to develop a clean and sustainable agriculture.

However, the standard system on fertilisers in general and organic fertilisers in particular has yet to meet the reality’s requirements.

At present, the Plant Protection Department is building a mechanism on technical standards, including those related to organic fertiliser quality.

The sector will take measures to encourage at least 50 percent of fertiliser establishment facilities to invest in developing organic fertilisers.

Contents encouraging the production and use of organic fertilisers will be put into the draft Cultivation Law, including policies related to land, tax and credit.

For the long term, policies to encourage the production of organic fertilisers from existing domestic materials, including waste products in agriculture and husbandry, will be made.

PetroVietnam surpasses first quarter targets

The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) surpassed all targets set for the first quarter this year by 4-15 percent in early March. 

In the first two months this year, the group tapped 4.13 million tonnes of oil, produced 3.56 billion kWh of electricity, 281,800 tonnes of nitrate and 1.13 million tonnes of petrol. 

The total revenue exceeded the target by 12 percent, marking a 16 percent increase annually while revenue to the State budget rose 12 percent year-on-year and surpassed the plan by 30 percent. 

The Vietnam – Russia joint venture Vietsovpetro, the PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation, the Rusvietpetro, the Binh Son Refinery, the PetroVietnam Power Corporation, the PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Corporation, the PetroVietnam Ca Mau Fertiliser Jsc also performed well. 

All of its affiliates completed financial targets in terms of earnings, profit and revenue to the State budget.

PetroVietnam President Tran Sy Thanh will continue closely overseeing the construction of mines and facilities and safely operate oil and gas plants and works. 

The group will also divest in firms in 2017-2020 as approved by the Prime Minister, deal with difficulties faced by five weak projects, and hasten the construction of gas – electricity chain at Lot B, thermal power plants Long Phu 1, Song Hau 1 and Thai Binh 2.

Jetstar Pacific launches more Hanoi – Quy Nhon flights

Low-cost airline Jetstar Pacific on March 9 said it will continue operations on the Hanoi – Quy Nhon (Binh Dinh) air route using A320 aircraft to meet the increasing travel demand in the 2018 summer.

The carrier will operate five flights a week on the route on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 1 to August 19, 2018. The flight duration will take one hour 35 minutes each way.

The BL215 flight from Hanoi to Quy Nhon is scheduled to take off at 6:10 and arrive at 7:45 on Fridays. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the flight will take off at 7:30 and arrive at 9:05.

Meanwhile, the BL216 from Quy Nhon to Hanoi will depart at 8:20 and arrive at 9:55 on Fridays; and depart at 9:30 and arrive at 11:05 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Currently, Jetstar Pacific offers tickets at prices from 580,000 VND (25.52 USD) for the route, excluding tax and fees. Tickets are available on www.jetstar.com, and ticket offices nationwide.

The carrier launched three low-cost flights per week on the route for the first time on June 1, 2016.

A Jetstar Pacific representative said the carrier is also offering promotional tickets for 18 domestic routes during the 2018 summer, at prices from 48,000 VND (over 2 USD). Promotional tickets for international flights between Ho Chi Minh City – China’s Guangzhou, and Hanoi – Hong Kong (China) costing only from 88,000 VND (4 USD), and 348,000 VND (15 USD), respectively, are available on the carrier’s website until 23:59 of March 12, 2018.

Pacific is the first low-cost carrier of Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines and Qantas Airlines are the main shareholders of the carrier.

Vietnam-Australia trade gains speed in early 2018

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Australia surged by 58.9 percent year on year in the first month of 2018 to reach 595 million USD, according to statistics of the Vietnam Customs.

Of the figure, Vietnam’s exports accounted for 305 million USD, up 42.8 percent from one year ago and its imports from Australia were valued at 290 million USD, a strong increase of 80.2 percent.

Australia has always been among the top 20 trade partners of Vietnam for the past several years.

In 2017, bilateral trade stood at 6.45 billion USD, up 22.7 percent from 2016, with Vietnam exporting 3.28 billion USD worth of goods to Australia and importing 3.17 billion USD.

Exports to Australia accounted for 1.5 percent of all Vietnam’s exports last year.

Vietnam has been enjoying a trade surplus with Australia, but the gap is reducing. From 1.84 billion USD in 2014, the surplus dropped to 816 million USD in 2015, 403 million USD in 2016, and 116 million USD in 2017.

Exports of Vietnam to Australia are mostly machinery parts, electronic equipment, footwear, textile-garment and seafood. It is noteworthy that nearly one third (31 percent) of Vietnam’s export value to Australia in 2017, or 1.02 billion USD, came from mobile phones and parts, computers, and electronic goods and parts. Crude oil export to Australia went up 105 percent last year to 262 million USD.

Meanwhile, Vietnam bought from Australia metals (628 million USD), coal (470 million USD), wheat (424 million USD) and cotton (296 million USD).

Australia is now the eighth largest exporter to Vietnam, while Vietnam is the 14th largest exporter to Australia, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The ministry said there will be good opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to promote the export of goods to the Australian market as Australia will cut 90 percent of import tariff lines in 2018 and 100 percent of them in 2020 under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) roadmap.

Vietnam-made logistic ship handed over to foreign client

The Damen Roro 5612 logistic vessel, built by Song Thu Corporation, was handed over to the National Air and Naval Service of Panama (Senan) Company at a ceremony in the central city of Da Nang on March 8.

The ship measures 57.27 metres long and 12 metres wide, and has a displacement of 600 tonnes, and a speed of 10.4 knots per hour. It is able to carry heavy tanks.

O.Liver Martiz from Senan Company expressed his impression with the ship after a trial run.

The shipbuilding quality of Song Thu Corporation is very good and reliable, he said, adding that after the delivery, his company would place an order for some more ships from Song Thu.

O.V.Papenrecht from the Damen Group of the Netherlands said he is happy because the quality of ships built by Song Thu Corporation satisfies clients.

He hoped that in the coming time, Damen and Song Thu will have more shipbuilding contracts.

Song Thu Corporation is a shipbuilder under the General Department of Defense Industry of Vietnam’s Defence Ministry.

Localities urged to gear towards shrimp production targets

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked People’s Committees of cities and provinces with large areas of shrimp farms to employ different solutions in order to reach targets set in the national action plan for the development of the shrimp industry through 2025. 

The localities should push the building and issuance of policies to attract investments in the local shrimp sector, and take measures to encourage effective models of production connectivity and cooperatives in the sector, the ministry said. 

Besides, the ministry urged the localities to allocate sufficient resources to implement projects within the national action plan, while paying attention to environmental forecast, disease prevention, especially in centralised shrimp farming areas, and the provision of market and disease information for shrimp breeders.

Apart from closely monitoring quality and food safety of shrimp products, the localities need to build and update databases on both domestic and foreign markets and inform relevant agencies, businesses and farmers about the updates. 

The ministry also highlighted the building, protection and development of Vietnamese shrimp brands, along with the control of the use of drugs and chemicals in shrimp breeding. 

The localities should roll out policies encouraging shrimp farms to follow certified standards and apply information-technology in shrimp production, the ministry said. 

Under the national action plan, total export revenue of Vietnamese shrimp products is expected to hit 10 billion USD by 2025 and accumulated brackish water shrimp farming area is set at 750,000 ha while total shrimp output is over 1.15 million tonnes. 

According to the action plan, the domestic shrimp industry is expected to gain 5.5 billion USD in export value and record an annual average growth of 10.79 percent in 2017-20, including 4.5 billion USD from brackish water shrimp exports. 

The total area rearing brackish water shrimp is estimated to reach 710,000ha, with total output of 850,000 tonnes of shrimp during 2017-20, and expand to 750,000ha and 1.1 million tonnes of output in the period from 2020-25.

Meanwhile during the period of 2017-20, the industry will have a total area of 30,000ha rearing giant freshwater prawn with total output of 30,000 tonnes and one million cubic metres of cage rearing lobster with total output of 2,500 tonnes.

In 2021-25, a hi-tech shrimp industry and large-scale eco-shrimp farming area will be developed. Infrastructure and technical services will be invested in a synchronous, efficient and sustainable manner. The shrimp industry expects to reach 10 billion USD in export value and an average growth of 12-14 percent per year.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said shrimp exports contributed the most to the total national seafood export value, with a growth rate of 21 percent to 3.8 billion USD in export value for 2017. 

Localities urged to gear towards shrimp production targets

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked People’s Committees of cities and provinces with large areas of shrimp farms to employ different solutions in order to reach targets set in the national action plan for the development of the shrimp industry through 2025. 

The localities should push the building and issuance of policies to attract investments in the local shrimp sector, and take measures to encourage effective models of production connectivity and cooperatives in the sector, the ministry said. 

Besides, the ministry urged the localities to allocate sufficient resources to implement projects within the national action plan, while paying attention to environmental forecast, disease prevention, especially in centralised shrimp farming areas, and the provision of market and disease information for shrimp breeders.

Apart from closely monitoring quality and food safety of shrimp products, the localities need to build and update databases on both domestic and foreign markets and inform relevant agencies, businesses and farmers about the updates. 

The ministry also highlighted the building, protection and development of Vietnamese shrimp brands, along with the control of the use of drugs and chemicals in shrimp breeding. 

The localities should roll out policies encouraging shrimp farms to follow certified standards and apply information-technology in shrimp production, the ministry said. 

Under the national action plan, total export revenue of Vietnamese shrimp products is expected to hit 10 billion USD by 2025 and accumulated brackish water shrimp farming area is set at 750,000 ha while total shrimp output is over 1.15 million tonnes. 

According to the action plan, the domestic shrimp industry is expected to gain 5.5 billion USD in export value and record an annual average growth of 10.79 percent in 2017-20, including 4.5 billion USD from brackish water shrimp exports. 

The total area rearing brackish water shrimp is estimated to reach 710,000ha, with total output of 850,000 tonnes of shrimp during 2017-20, and expand to 750,000ha and 1.1 million tonnes of output in the period from 2020-25.

Meanwhile during the period of 2017-20, the industry will have a total area of 30,000ha rearing giant freshwater prawn with total output of 30,000 tonnes and one million cubic metres of cage rearing lobster with total output of 2,500 tonnes.

In 2021-25, a hi-tech shrimp industry and large-scale eco-shrimp farming area will be developed. Infrastructure and technical services will be invested in a synchronous, efficient and sustainable manner. The shrimp industry expects to reach 10 billion USD in export value and an average growth of 12-14 percent per year.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said shrimp exports contributed the most to the total national seafood export value, with a growth rate of 21 percent to 3.8 billion USD in export value for 2017.


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